A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: England need to make better starts in overseas tours, says Andy Flower

Flower is growing increasingly infuriated with this trend

England Test cricket head coach Andy Flower has announced that his team have to learn to make better starts on tours abroad as it is becoming an increasingly frustrating problem and developing pattern which may require changes to be made for future series.

During their recently concluded three-Test series against New Zealand, England made a horrendous start, being bowled out for 167 in the first innings of the first Test.

However, even during their famous victory against India last year started off on the wrong foot as they succumbed to a nine wicket defeat in the first Test in Hyderabad.

“If you are asking about a trend, that is certainly something that I should be addressing myself,” Flower said. “I have some ideas on rejigging a couple of things in our preparation, in our management team firstly, and we’ll see if we can do something about it.

“We always encourage our players to be honest with themselves, and each other. So then we’ve got to do the same. The coaches have to do that, and I’m the first guy that has to do it.”

Since 2004, England have only managed to beat Bangladesh in the opening Test of a series, which occurred in 2010.

In the 14 series they have played abroad since 2004, nine of them have begun with defeats.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) attribute lack of match practice beforehand as the key reason for this trend and Flower has done everything in his power over the past few years to ensure the national team play as many practice matches as possible before the start of a series.

During the second leg of the back-to-back Ashes series at the end of the year, England will once again play three warm up matches before the first Test in Brisbane, just like they did in the 2010-11 Ashes tour.

“The way we started this tour, principally in that first innings, has nothing to do with people not having enough cricket,” Flower said. “We’ve had a reasonable amount of preparation time, and enough to get ready for that first Test. So that is not the reason why we under-performed.

“Am I happy with the preparation for this series? Well, I’m not happy in that we lost the four-day game – we go into those games trying to win them.┬áSo that is not a habit we want to keep. We transferred some of the sloppiness that we showed in that four-day game into the Test match.”

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